Now while it's cold and the garden is in a holding pattern is a great time for me to have a little getaway. Amy and I made reservations for a one night winter special package at the Mohonk Mountain House. It was the very last day of the special. This special includes one night in the hotel, afternoon tea, dinner, breakfast buffet, use of the grounds both days and some activities.
I arrived first. Once you pass through the gate house there is a narrow winding one lane drive through the woods for about two miles before you get to the hotel. Being the country girl that I am I drove right by the valet parking and to the park your own car lot. One look at the long flight of stairs that it was necessary to climb with bags in tow to reach the hotel sent me back around to the valet parking. One nice young man parked my car, another whisked away my bags to my room, and the third smiled and opened the door for me to enter the hotel. This must be how the other half lives!
Our room was on the west side of the hotel. This is the terrific vista from our balcony. Even the view from the less expensive rooms is fabulous. Rooms on the lake side of the hotel cost more and their view is even better.
We were right next door to a tower room. I suspect it may be as close as we will ever get to one since a tower room adds to the bill just like the view. A room with a fireplace adds a little more as well, but lets get back to us. I spent some time walking the long halls of the hotel. Vintage photographs are hung in the hallways. Amy arrived with her luggage. She did park her own car and climb the stairs. After spending a little time rocking in the chairs on our balcony and admiring the view, we headed downstairs for afternoon tea.
Tea and cookies is served on the veranda overlooking the lake. The rocking chairs are comfortable and the view is breathtaking. However, it was cold and windy today so we had our tea and cookies inside in a large room with comfortable chairs and with a roaring fire. With 6:45 reservations we had some time to walk around the grounds before it was time to change for dinner.
We walked up the hill to see the ice skating rink. There was no ice at this time of year. This is a gigantic building with a huge fireplace at one end made of almost white stone.
Natural crystal stones are included in several places as decorations.
The Mohonk grounds feature a number of rustic vine covered towers. I don't do all those stairs, but Amy never hesitates to climb to the top of a tower. I sat on a bench while she admired the view. The tower must look great when that vine is leafed out.
We had to stop by and check out this round stone building. With Ed the stone builder at home, I imagined having one of these of my own.
A shot of the interior of the roof shows that cement was used to build this structure. Ed's pretty much a dry stone builder so I don't think I'll be getting one of these, but is sure is neat!.
This bush covered with blossoms really caught my eye. It has a subtle fragrance. I could not identify the bush, but it seemed familiar to Amy. As it turns out one like it grows in her neighborhood.
Our 6:45 dinner reservations were fast approaching so we headed back to the room to dress for dinner. In the large dining room tables for two were all along the semicircular wall of windows. Our waiter was friendly and the service was superb. Dinner started with warm bread both regular and gluten free with roasted garlic and an olive tapenade spread. My first appetizer was a Maryland style crab cake that was the second best I have ever eaten. Next came a sweet potato soup which was smooth creamy and delicious. Under normal conditions I would have been finished eating then, but the chicken entree with blue and white potatoes and white and green asparagus came next. This was also delicious, but there was no clean plate award for me. I just couldn't finish it. Dessert was a chocolate creme decorated with whipped cream , chocolate curls and an oval of swirled chocolate. It was a work of art. Yes, I did finish the dessert. While we were eating, we watched the sunset over the mountains. The first stars could be seen before we finished dinner.
We had hoped to go for a late swim in the swimming pool after dinner, but since we did not finish until after eight and the pool closed at nine , we had to put off the pool until day two. We settled in to our cozy quiet room for the evening. We took a quick chilly look at the starry sky from the balcony then went to bed and quickly fell asleep.